San Diego Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Birth defects are always tragic, especially when they occur due to medical malpractice or errors during pregnancy or delivery. Despite all efforts to avoid cerebral palsy birth injury, many babies suffer a lifetime of problems caused by injuries that occur at birth. This is a devastating problem for the child and parents, requiring extensive medical care and incurring significant expenses, in addition to the physical challenges the child will face as they grow and mature.

Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawyer

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that limits body movement and muscle coordination. According to recent data from the California Department of Public Health, the incidence of cerebral palsy in California is approximately 3 out of every 1,000 live births, consistent with national averages. It is a non-progressive disease, meaning that while the condition is severe, it will not worsen over time. A cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer can help parents determine the cause of this condition, whether it is related to medical malpractice, and explore any legal solutions to pursue fair compensation under personal injury law.

Birth Injury Laws

Birth injury laws fall under the umbrella of personal injury law in each state, categorized specifically as medical malpractice. In some cases, lawsuits may be filed under the claims of wrongful birth or wrongful life. When pursuing a legal case for a birth injury, there could be multiple defendants under these laws. Your attorney can determine who is liable for the cerebral palsy birth injury and help you decide on the appropriate course of legal action. You may be able to claim compensation for medical malpractice, wrongful birth/life, medical expenses, and other elements unique to your case. These laws aim to prevent such damage and to ensure that the medical and pharmaceutical industries, as well as healthcare providers, perform their duties properly to avoid patient injuries.

Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury

Cerebral palsy related to medical malpractice typically stems from insufficient oxygen reaching the infant’s brain during labor or delivery. This condition, known as hypoxia (low oxygen in the brain) or asphyxia (insufficient oxygen to the body), can occur due to various factors, even with excellent care. However, when linked to medical malpractice, several potential causes exist:

  • Undetected Maternal Illness: If the mother had infections like meningitis during pregnancy that went undetected.
  • Improper Monitoring: Inadequate monitoring of the fetal heart rate during labor and delivery.
  • Prolapsed Umbilical Cord: Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord.
  • Failure to Perform a Timely C-Section: If the baby is too large to pass through the birth canal safely and a cesarean section is not scheduled or performed.
  • Delayed or Absent C-Section: Delayed or not performed necessary cesarean section procedures.
  • Negligent Use of Instruments: Improper use of delivery instruments like vacuum extractors or forceps.

When a brain injury occurs during prenatal development, birth, or after delivery, it can have a tragic impact on the child’s life. Injuries may affect muscle control or coordination, muscle tone, reflexes, posture, and balance. The child may experience issues with motor skills—fine, gross, and oral motor functions. Each case of cerebral palsy has unique outcomes, depending on the type, extent, and timing of the brain injury during development.

The Complexity of Brain Injury

The brain is a highly complex organ, and any disruption in its normal development can cause injury. Damage can occur during pregnancy, at birth, or afterward. Potential causes include:

  • Prenatal Development Issues: Cells failing to migrate properly during prenatal development or poor myelination (insulation) of nerve cell fibers.
  • Hypoxia or Asphyxia: Cells dying due to ruptured blood vessels or lack of oxygen during birth.
  • Postnatal Issues: Non-functional or inappropriate synapse (connections) between brain cells after birth.

Other factors contributing to cerebral palsy include harmful prescription drug use during pregnancy, head trauma causing prolonged bleeding in the baby’s brain post-delivery, extremely premature births, or inadequate oxygen during cesarean section procedures.

Recognizing Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

Symptoms of cerebral palsy may not be immediately apparent but will manifest as the child develops. Signs to watch for include:

  • Slow Physical Development: Delays in rolling over, crawling, smiling, or talking.
  • Abnormal Muscle Tone: Either increased or decreased muscle tone.
  • Poor Coordination: Floppy limbs, poor posture, and lack of coordination.
  • Involuntary Movements: Uncontrolled movements or tremors.
  • Vision or Hearing Problems: Issues with sight or hearing.

Seeking a Cerebral Palsy Attorney

If your child has been harmed by medical malpractice resulting in a cerebral palsy birth injury, it is crucial to consult with an experienced cerebral palsy birth injury attorney. Let your lawyer take over the examination of your case, allowing you to focus on the needs of your injured child.

In a birth injury case, many aspects require investigation. Multiple defendants could be responsible for the injury, including the hospital, doctor, other staff personnel, or a pharmaceutical company. A cerebral palsy lawyer will thoroughly investigate the evidence, interview involved parties, and apply relevant state laws to your unique complaint.

Personal Injury Compensation

Compensation for birth injury cases can include monetary awards for various needs. In some instances, there may be additional punitive awards depending on the case specifics. Generally, compensation may cover medical care costs, follow-up treatment, special needs expenses, pain and suffering, and other claims. In successful wrongful birth lawsuits, parents may be awarded compensation for the special care required for a child with birth defects. This can include tuition for special schools, additional medical care for specific problems, and compensation for parents’ emotional and mental stress due to the birth injury.


If you have questions or concerns or wish to discuss a possible cerebral palsy birth injury with an experienced personal injury lawyer, seek assistance immediately. They can help determine the next steps to address this critical family matter and guide you through the legal process to secure the compensation your child deserves. The expertise of a cerebral palsy lawyer can make a significant difference in navigating the complexities of medical malpractice and ensuring that those responsible for the injury are held accountable.